Give! – Yourself a Break

The Christmas season is wrought with expectations…

Expectations to decorate your house like Clark Griswald or Martha Stewart

Expectations to pick out the perfect gift for everyone on your list including that person who is simply impossible to buy for.

Expectations to cook, to clean, to bake, to entertain…

Ok, you get my point.

Usually I do ok with all of those expectations.  To be honest, most of them I place upon myself.

But this year I had to give myself a break.

The idea of doing all the things I normally do this time of year had me spiraling into obligation and avoidance.  I simply couldn’t do all the things I normally do… and I should clarify usually LOVE to do.  That was a really strange feeling to me.  Why wouldn’t I want to do all the things I usually love to do?

And so after a few bouts of guilt and some good level-headed comments from my husband, I realized I needed to give myself a break this year.  Less decorating.  Less entertaining.  Less cooking.  Less cleaning.

I cut out the things that I could and I kept the things that brought me joy and were the most meaningful to others around me.

How about you?

Do you need to give yourself a break this year?

What expectations have you heaped up yourself that really aren’t all that consequential?

What can you give up so that you can experience the joy and the beauty of this season?

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  • Sherie December 3, 2010  

    I have sensed some growing anxiety or something this week and I am still trying to figure out why, but I think it may have to do with the holidays. The key expectation I heap on myself is wanting to make the season profoundly meaningful and more than just an act of commercialism. While I love the recent movements toward these ends, I think there is an underlying message of “Don’t just spend money on others, but donate time and money.” and in that there is a new pressure to spend as much or more (which can be really tough during hard economic times) and give time which can stretch us even more during a busy season.

    So, I am trying to figure out how to have an expectation of truly celebrating the truth of this season without feeling the pressures to give and do more.

    • Jenni Catron December 4, 2010  

      Sherie, I totally understand. The expectations are endless. Praying you find balance, peace and joy this year for Christmas!!